Numerous projects have been carried out in the grounds of HMP Whatton in Rushcliffe, including creation and management of extensive wildflower areas, installation of bird feeding stations and nest boxes for birds (including swift and owl boxes) and bats manufactured in the craft workshop, shrub beds, walkways, small ponds and water gardens, bug houses, log piles and a wormery. These projects very much link to and support the biodiversity of the local area, with Bingham Linear Park and the River Smite being very close by.
The staff and prisoners are closely involved in all projects and the work closely ties in to rehabilitation, skill development and wellbeing, with the prisoner’s having an increased awareness of wildlife and the natural environment.
HMP Whatton has closely involved and engaged with external local partners on these projects, including Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Nottinghamshire Birdwatchers, Swift Conservation, Rushcliffe Barn Owl Project and Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust.
Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust organised and delivered a presentation/ demonstration event, centred on ponds and amphibians and further activity and projects are being planned for the future. The prisoner’s take part in monitoring wildlife, for instance recording bird and small mammals found in the habitat areas.
We are very pleased that HMP Whatton has received national recognition for the excellent nature conservation projects they are carrying out in the prison grounds. Their achievements have been recognised through the Ministry of Justice as they recently won the National Offenders Management Service (NOMS) Wildlife awards as outright winners in 2018. As partners, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust was pleased to attend a celebration event at the prison in September.
Ben Driver (NWT Southern Conservation Officer)